I wouldn’t have expected anything less, everyone knows that the Republican Party of Butler County, Ohio is one of the most powerful, and draws from one the most conservative demographics in America, it has its own kind of Game of Thrones situation going on. Congratulations should go to George Lang who was just sworn in for the 52nd Ohio House District seat that was recently given up by Margy Conditt. George is the best that there is out there for something like that, he’s a genuinely good person to his core. I’ve known him for quite a while and been with him in some tough times which is how you can tell a lot about a person’s character, and I am absolutely 100% sure that he will do a great job at his new state position. George generally gets along with everybody—from Chris Wunnenburg to the reform minded Ann Becker—George is an authentic person that knows how to walk the fine lines in life without falling off-and that is a skill that is desperately needed in our Ohio statehouse. So, nice job.
I mention Game of Thrones because my wife and I are just recently catching up on it as my kids have been telling me for years that we’d like it. So we started watching the first three seasons and they were right, I find the politics very reflective of real life, so it’s compelling enough for me to spend some time on. Chris Wunnenburg whom I know from my time with No Lakota Levy, got into some hot water recently because during the statement period where the Butler County GOP had to consider who to elect for that 52nd seat—which George ended up getting—Ann Becker was also running and was asked by Chris “how would you handle the workload and time commitment of a state (representative) while your children are still in school and require a lot of your time?” I was very surprised by this because when I stated about some political rivals that they all had asses the size of car tires and diamond rings to match, Chris was one of the very first people to publicly criticize my comments as sexist. I don’t normally get into identity politics, but he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth. I can say that because I know the guy he represents what’s wrong with the old GOP politics. I don’t need any money from Chris or his builder buddies, so I can be more objective about him in reporting the situation.
Ann Becker is one of those people who juggle it all and I’d dare say that her kids will grow up to be fantastic people. They are presently getting an education that few children anywhere are getting—and they are lucky to have her for a mom. I’m a very traditional guy, my wife dedicates herself completely to our family, she stayed home when my kids were being raised and presently she is a stay-at-home grandmother, and I am glad she does all those things in the traditional manner. But I understand people like Ann Becker who are so ambitious and constantly driven that they involve their kids in their industrious lives which is nonstop. Likely her kids will be the kind of people who will work 110 hours per week and still enjoy going to the movies, that’s how Ann is and that kind of person doesn’t have the same limits, whereas people like Chris have done. Not everyone can rub their belly and chew gum at the same time, and if they can’t, then children need to be the priority as they always should be. But if a person can rub their belly, chew gum, build a house, read a book and discover new stars in our solar system all at the same time, then Chris should have just shut his mouth and not asked the question even if the real intent was to keep Ann out of positions of power to begin with. It’s just a matter of time before she is the Party boss in Butler County. Curve balls won’t stop her. It’s not fair to Ann to hold her to Chris’ limits so long as traditional values are what is communicated. The more Ann is involved in, the better off our world is. Chris Wunnenberg, the Butler County GOP’s Central Committee chairman should resign if he really cares about the Republican Party. If he was smart he would have stuck by me when it mattered, but he didn’t and the rest is history. He’s holding back the potential of the party with his generation too-late thinking. People like Ann Becker are the future of the Party and people better get used to it.
The biggest problem with George getting that state seat however is that it leaves Mark Welsh alone as a West Chester trustee. He’s now the only competent manager of that very important regional economic powerhouse. Not only is George now gone but so is the township administrator Judi Boyko who recently left her post after 25 years of service to become Hamilton County’s assistant county administrator. I’ve come to know Judi and she certainly earned my respect. While I have a reputation for arguing against high wage public employees, like school teachers and all other unionized government workers who jack up their rates approximately 40% over their market value—Judi is someone I’d consider paying $500,000 per year—because she was worth it. She did a great job in West Chester which does leave a big hole to fill there. It won’t be easy to find a replacement for her as the trustees are leaving the vacancy largely to the Novak group to staff. I think that’s a mistake, I’d personally take responsibility for that if I were them—but in that kind of decision I’d only trust Mark Welsh to interview the prospects. Lee Wong is incompetent and not able to perform the task. And with it being unknown at this point who the trustees will be after the election—with so many variables now at play, the new township administrator will be the least of the worries. That combination of Mark Welsh, George Lang and Judi Boyko will be hard to duplicate under any conditions, so I anticipate many negative articles from me in the future about what’s going on in West Chester.
Nothing stays the same forever, and most of the pain is a short-term thing. The GOP is changing and that is allowing people to move up leaving holes in the ranks that will be filled by people of various political philosophies. That is certainly the main philosophic difference between Ann Becker and Chris Wunnenberg. Ann is certainly a Donald Trump GOP type of person whereas Chris is a George Bush thinking establishment advocate. When the fight gets tough Chris is nowhere to be found. He’s only good in a district where everyone is basically a Republican, only to a different degree over or under others. His white beard makes him appear wise and he is articulate, but he lacks courage. He has money so people tend to eat out of his hand, but philosophically, he’s a powder puff and it’s only a matter of time before he’s replaced by somebody like Becker in the pecking order of things, which is why he asked her the question he did—to attempt to derail her climb up the ladders of power. She’ll be there whether he likes it or not, and maybe he should watch the Game of Thrones to learn how to build alliances instead of taking hard-line stances on traditions that only serve the construction industry. There is more to the GOP than just developer’s concerns and a failure to recognize that is a critical blow to the overall health of the Butler County GOP.
People like Chris tend to hold back the innovations needed to deal with the changing GOP. George Lang is part of that change, and Chris to his credit wasn’t against supporting Lang, but as to the candidates from the GOP who are poised to run for governor to replace the pacifist John Kasich, traditional candidates like Mike DeWine and Jon Husted represent the stale old establishment. Once it comes time to have the election, they won’t excite President Trump who will be looking for a partner in Ohio. So my money is on Jim Renacci—whom Ann Becker is getting behind. I was impressed to see that Renacci put $4 million dollars of his own money into the race which is how I think things should be done. He thinks like Trump, he’s very pro business and that aligns with the goals George Lang has going to the state house, to make Ohio the most business friendly states that there is—which has very stiff competition from the surrounding states. It’s a lofty ambition and will take someone like Renacci to pull it off. Traditional Chris Wunnenberg GOP people just won’t slice the bacon of this new age of Republican needs.
I don’t see any of this as a problem so much as an opportunity. The strongest aspects of conservative philosophy are setting new bars for which to live by. The Democratic Party I don’t see as a factor under the new Trump administration pushing them to call themselves even more often Republicans just to be viable for elections. That will of course lead to more political battles such as what we’ve seen between Chris Wunnenberg and Ann Becker, or Lee Wong and Mark Welsh. I know what kind of congressman Geroge Lang will be—and I’d bet my life on his success. He is now in need of a good governor to work closely with the Trump administration to get Ohio off to a great start into the next decade as the very important GOP realigns itself with the values of the Party as it is today, not as it was ten years ago when it was essentially the Party of builders who dominated the GOP back then. Times have changed and the old Tea Party is running things now, and that’s how it will continue.
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